I recently acquired an iPod and have been breaking it in by listening to some lectures I downloaded from iTunes U. In the introduction to his lectures on History of Philosophy and Christian Thought, John Frame gives some reasons for studying Philosophy.
I love his first point, which suggests that studying philosophy can teach us to think with more clarity, cogency, and profundity. While studying philosophy certainly won’t guarantee an improvement in these areas, it is certainly a helpful piece of the puzzle. Thinking on the important questions of life lends itself to profundity and studying logic and argumentation should lead us towards cogency. Hopefully dealing with intricate and mentally challenging theories impresses upon us the importance of clarity.
Clarity, cogency and profundity are excellent goals to strive for, not only in thought, but in the communication of those thoughts, whether in writing, teaching, or preaching. I hope that in all of my studies, not just philosophy, my thoughts will be stretched and prodded into a more clear, cogent, and profound shape.